Singapore is home to more than 40,000 startups in an ecosystem valued at US$11 billion. Technology startups comprise eight of this whole. Ranked 12th on the Startup Genome’s 2017 Startup Ecosystem Ranking, Singapore has become a choice destination for businesses seeking global success thanks to funding and government policies from the 90s.
The country welcomes businesses from across the globe and provides a community which offers them the best chance at success on an international scale. However, while funding largely comes from its government, venture funding has steadily been on the increase. In 2015, investment from VC into the Singapore startup ecosystem stood at US$1.16 billion, as compared to US$80.57 million in 2010. The Pitchdrive Asia team naturally had to make a stop in Singapore.
The first stop in Singapore was at Found8, a leading innovation hub and coworking space which provides a support and accelerator community for startups in partnerships with technology companies like Google. The founders were introduced to the Southeast Asia VC investment scene by Germaine Inez Tan of Found Ventures and Mohd Atasha, Advisor to Alibaba and the United Nations.
Atasha shared some useful tips about doing business in Asia. On the business environment in Japan, he mentioned that the Japanese were very respectful and conservative. He taught the founders how to exchange business cards in Asia (with both hands) and how the Japanese view it as a compliment when you say “it melts” when eating a certain type of sushi (You have to know the right type 🙂 )
Armed with this knowledge, the founders visited the Stripe and Antler offices in Singapore where they interacted with startup and investor networks in a bid to initiate and forge beneficial relationships to grow their businesses.
Next was a tour of the magnificent Google Singapore office where the founders were hosted to a brief lecture on Google’s culture and the role of AI in the future of business by Staffing Lead, Kerry O’Shea and AI Expert, Jerome Poudevigne.
To round up the team’s stay in Singapore, the founders pitched at their first official pitch event on the tour. Hosted by Found8 at their beautiful office space in Central Area, the founders pitched to a room full of angel investors as well as a team from SGInnovates, a seed and early-stage investment network supporting the growth of deep tech startups.
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The PitchDrive Tour is brought to you by CcHUB , in partnership with Google for Startups.
Stories from the Tour is proudly sponsored by MainOne and Sterling Bank.